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Miracle Dog Survives 72 Days in Colorado Mountains

A faithful Jack Russell terrier named Finney has defied the odds, enduring 72 days alone in the Colorado mountains after his owner tragically succumbed to hypothermia.


Finney, a Jack Russell terrier who survived 72 days in the mountains
Credit: Dana Holby via AP

Rich Moore, a 71-year-old Colorado resident, set out on a hiking adventure with Finney, his Jack Russell on August 19, aiming to conquer Blackhead Peak in the San Juan Mountains. Unfortunately, he never returned home, triggering a days-long search spanning from the peak to his parked vehicle, but with no success.


Later, the distressing search came to an end when a hunter discovered Moore's body and a fiercely protective Finney on October 30. Throughout this time, Finney somehow survived, probably by hunting small animals such as mice while also managing to avoid predators like mountain lions, coyotes and bears.


"If that dog could talk it would be an amazing story," said Delinda VanneBrightyn of Taos Search and Rescue. "We probably could not even believe the story the dog would tell."


Officials reported that Finney had lost about half of her body weight and was displaying visible ribs after her 10 week ordeal - hardly surprising given the challenging conditions she endured during Moore's absence. However, three weeks after the discovery, Dana Holby, Moore's wife, told Associated Press that Finney is now doing remarkably well. She has nearly regained all her lost weight, and her strength is approaching its pre-ordeal levels, earning her the endearing and richly deserved title of the "miracle dog."

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